It took a while, but after 30 minutes of stopping, starting, wheeling, and ducking, Tiznow finally turned in a brilliant mile work in 1:35 3/5 at Santa Anita Thursday morning. Jockey Chris McCarron, who was aboard the defending Horse of the Year, timed him going seven-eighths from the three-eighths pole to a half-mile past the wire in 1:22.71, while Robbins and the clockers picked him up at the half-mile pole.
"It was a very impressive work," McCarron said. "I had to start clocking him at the three-eighths pole, because he went from a jog to a gallop to a breeze so quickly, I didn't want to turn my hands loose with him going 40 miles an hour after the way he was wheeling with me."
Trainer Jay Robbins still is trying to figure out why the colt is pulling his weird antics every morning. "He just refused to do anything for 30 minutes," Robbins said. "He'd start, then stop, then go again. Chris brought him over to the gate to have blinkers put on him, but when they tried he just froze up. It's hard to figure out why this is happening, but Chris thinks he's just bored to tears. But he did work great and looked terrific cooling out. Bob Baffert said afterward this was the first time he'd ever seen a horse work seven-eighths like that from the half-mile pole. That mile time of 1:35 3/5 was actually his gallop-out time. He just kept on going with Chris."
"He's doing things that really make you kind of on edge," McCarron said. "But I think back to John Henry when he was five and six. He became so bored, it took forever to train him. But (Tiznow) will have plenty to look at at Belmont. Eight days I think will be enough time to get him to where he's happy.
"He's been having problems with the pony, and although he did kick one last week, it really wasn't malicious. It's more like he's showing people who's boss. If it were malicious, he would have got me off his back one of a number of times this morning, the way he was ducking."
Robbins said Tiznow will fly to Belmont Park on Saturday, and again will be stabled in Shug McGaughey's barn.